I'd like to propose a solution. First, ask your state and federal representatives to abolish the tip credit, which would turn tips back into actual gratuities: something given free of obligation. Second, announce your tipping practice to your server as soon as you sit down. Virtually every other employee in America knows how much they'll be paid up front, and somehow the man who sells me shoes and the woman who does my dry cleaning still manage to provide adequate service. I have no doubt waiters and waitresses are the same. Finally, tip a flat, but reasonably generous, dollar amount per person in your party. Around 20 percent of Americans, mostly older people, tip a flat amount already, so it's not exactly revolutionary. A server's pay shouldn't be linked to whether or not you have room for dessert.